Healthy eating is hard, even in the best of circumstances, but when you’re juggling being a mama, wife, working, friends, volunteering, and anything else life throws at you, it becomes darn near impossible unless you have a plan. If you start meal planning (here’s how I do it to save us a ton of money), these mom hacks for healthy eating will be easy to incorporate into your life so that you can keep your body feeling its best for keeping up with those munchkins of yours!
The biggest thing I’ve found to making sure I actually stick to this is to prepare ahead of time. If it’s not easy or there staring me in the face, I’m just not going to do it instead of all the other stuff I keep in my house. Honestly, most of these happened accidentally, but since then, I’ve been using them to help keep our life a little less hectic and a little more healthy.
The best part is, it not only helps my own meals be better for me, but they making packing healthy school lunches a breeze on crazy school mornings. If you want a ton of ideas for what to put in those lunches (and a free printable to go with it), check out this post!
5 Mom Hacks for Healthy Eating
Prep your fruit and veggies
When you get home from the grocery, throw all of your produce into your sink with water and this all-natural fruit and veggie wash. Once they’ve had time to get all the dirt off, pull it all out, pat it dry, and start slicing! I’m talking bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, onions, grapes off the vine (and halved if you have little kids like we do), de-greened strawberries, etc. It’ll save you a ton of time later in the week because you can just take a handful of different-colored fruit and veggies for your kiddo’s lunch or on your salad and have lunches made in record time. Plus, everything will be nearly ready to go for your recipes– 10 seconds of taking strips of bell pepper and turning them into dices and you’re good to go. AND you’ll only have to get ONE cutting board and knife dirty instead of a new one every night!
Make a lot of everything!
Obviously this will be limited by your budget, but if you have the means, make extra of whatever it is you’re making. If you’re stirring up a batch of spaghetti sauce, go ahead and make a huge batch of it and then freeze it in quart baggies (or whatever size a meal would be for your family). They’ll lay flat when frozen so they stack nicely and it makes for a quick meal later on. The same goes for chili, tomato basil soup (or any kind of soup, really), etc. If you’re grilling or roasting chicken breasts, make extra, shred them, and freeze in 1 cup baggies for soups, honey lime chicken enchiladas, easy chicken salad for lunch, and more. You’re already doing the work to make enough for the meal. You may as well do the same amount of work and have it for weeks to come!
…and a lot for the week!
While I make dinner on Sunday, I also have 2 cups of steel cut oatmeal going in the Instant Pot for breakfasts that week (steel cut oatmeal reheats beautifully and we change up toppings/mix-ins throughout the week to make it different). I do the same for scrambled eggs and bacon/sausage so that I can just add a piece of toast and a handful of the fruit I already have cut up in the fridge to have a well-balanced, yummy breakfast for my boys on school mornings. It means we have a good start to our day every single morning with minimal work (and no whining about waiting for breakfast).
Keep good-for-you snacks in the house
If it’s not in the house, you’re not going to eat it. And I’ll go a step further– have it all easily accessible (this is why we call them “mom hacks for healthy eating”– they have to be easy!). Whether that’s the fruit and veggies you’ve already prepped to be able to grab a handful of instead of chips, frozen grapes in a mason jar instead of ice cream, or your favorite veggie straws for that salty crunch, keep those where you can grab them INSTEAD of the less healthy things. If it takes more effort than a less healthy option, you’re far less likely to eat it instead. Plus, keep them in clear Tupperware so you see the pretty colors and it feeds your eyes before it feeds your tummy!
Have replacement drinks in the fridge
My personal vice is Diet Coke, but I try to keep healthy, hydrating drinks in the fridge instead (because if the Diet Coke isn’t in there and cold, I’m definitely not going to go hunt one down). Instant Pot iced tea is quick and makes a ton of concentrate so I can just pour it over a glass of ice/water (obviously leave the sugar out for a healthier choice). As one of my mom hacks for healthy eating, I also keep La Croix in my fridge for a fizzy fix with no fake sugar. There’s always a pitcher of Instant Pot fruit/veggie-infused water in there, too, so I have no excuse to grab something less healthy. The only issue I had with the traditional infused water is that it can take a while to really infuse the flavor into it, so I make it in the Instant Pot instead!